We sometimes receive enquiries for potentiometers and rheostats that indicate there is some confusion between terminology surrounding potentiometers and rheostats. fundamentally there is little difference between the two. They both have the following characteristics:

Allow for variable and continuous adjustment of a specified resistance value
Allow for adjustment via a rotary shaft
Are mounted (generally) via a bush mounting system
Have similar temperature derating curves
Both offer solder or quick connect termination options
Both have a specified angle of rotation
Both have a wiper in totational contact with a resistance element

As we can see from the photographs below, there are physical similarities between the two (potentiometers and […]